Sustainability at Boston Housing Authority

Over the past decade, Boston Housing Authority (BHA) has been a national leader in green and healthy housing initiatives. These efforts are coordinated by BHA’s “Green Team” – an interdepartmental group of BHA employees who meet monthly to review, monitor and promote sustainability projects across the organization. Key initiatives are:

Redevelopment Projects: Green building and community sustainability opportunities are greatest with new construction. BHA has redeveloped over 2,000 units at seven developments with solar panels, enhanced ventilation, co-generation, healthy homes interiors, high-efficiency boilers and high performance windows and building envelopes. In the latest redevelopment initiative, the transformation of the 840-unit Old Colony public housing community in South Boston BHA has raised the bar further to explore a net zero energy plan. These efforts are called Mixed-Finance Development

Capital Upgrades: BHA has utilized federal stimulus funding to pilot a new model for “green” substantial rehabilitation at the Cathedral and Heath developments. BHA recently completed a $65 million Energy Performance Contract (EPC) for energy and water upgrades at 13 federal sites. Green standards are being explored for routine capital upgrades throughout BHA’s portfolio. 

Resident Education: Resident outreach and education have been key to several energy- and health-related initiatives. Outreach materials are being developed as part of the Strategic Sustainability Plan roll-out. BHA partners with local non-profits, health agencies, community health centers and universities to promote policy and practice related to healthy housing. Recent initiatives include the Smoke-Free Housing initiative and the Integrated Pest Management. Several grant partnerships focused on the relationship of resident health and housing conditions. BHA went entirely smoke-free in September 2012. 

Strategic Sustainability Plan Overview

As the largest landlord in the City of Boston, Boston Housing Authority (BHA) recognizes the importance of promoting sustainable communities. The Strategic Sustainability Plan can meaningfully integrate and advance the three core elements of our agency’s mission:

  • To provide stable, quality affordable housing for low and moderate income persons.
  • To deliver these services with integrity and mutual accountability.
  • To create living environments which serve as catalysts for the transformation from dependency to economic self-sufficiency.

These three initiatives are intended to provide better housing for today’s residents and future generations. They also increase BHA’s accountability for improving and sustaining our communities and engage residents and staff to ensure the best quality of life within BHA developments.

The Strategic Sustainability Plan focuses on three key areas:

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